making watercolor choices for ATCs
Get ready for a long-winded rant/explanation/bit of background info. I won't be offended if you skip down to the actual subject of the post...LOL.
You may know how much I hate to paint. There is nothing I like about it. The smells, the feel of the paint, the textures, the mess, the little bottles, tubes, choosing colors, mixing...none of it. I am talking about acrylics and craft paints. Admittedly, I have never tried oil paints but I think it would be all of that, mulitplied...adding in the smell of turpentine and brush cleaners and bigger messes, etc. And it isn't that I am afraid of a mess...you've seen my studio...it's that I can't paint (or use rubber stamps, inks, glue, etc.) without getting it all over...and I tend to walk around with colorful hands for a day or two after I paint. I just don't like it.
But -- (also admittedly) I haven't minded it as much at Experimental Art Nights -- as I have previously blogged. Most of my painting usually deals with putting color and detail on 3D things like my plaster cloth guys or boxes or that sort of thing...and I have big expectations for those things because I imagine them in a finished state in my head and they never turn out that way in real life. I have had very little flatwork experience...and I think that could be one of the reasons I hate the Experimental Art Night playing around with paint a little less. No expectations of what is to come.
Okay. All of that said...
As much as I loathe acrylic painting, that is almost as much as I enjoy watercolor painting. I like just about everything about it. I am in no way trying to hint at saying that I know what I am doing with watercolors or that I know how to work them properly. I took a 12-week class that I stayed in for about 5 weeks and I know I have only scratched the surface of working with them.
Watercolors make me feel like I can paint. I like how they blend so easily...pretty much without me doing much but putting color someplace and then playing with it. I like how they change so easily and effortlessly. HA -- that is probably it in a nutshell -- it feels nearly effortless.
I like how watercolors look. I like the paper, the little trays of paint, the tiny tubes of paint, the stackable palettes of colors. I like that there are really inexpensive ones and really expensive one. I like experimenting with them. I like how you can build up the colors...and then change them with a drop of water or a mist from a bottle of water.
Perhaps someone is going to tell me that you can do all of that with acrylics, too. Well perhaps you can, but I can't.
AND watercolors are as close as I have to come the Amaco watercolor underglazes for ceramics -- which I just adore. And that brings me around to this particular project. The images I am using were originally drawn and designed by me as ceramic tiles. I used watercolor underglazes to color them, then used Duncan French Dimensions to outline them and finished them with clear gloss glaze.
Okay. Back to today.
Today I am just experimenting with the materials on hand to see what I'd like to use for next month's artist trading cards. The theme is characters from children's literature and since Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass are a couple of my favorite stories I decided to adapt those original images to ATCs.
These are the paints I chose to use.
Click the photo for a link.
Next, Strathmore heavy weight cold press water color paper...but which side to use?
This is the smoother side.
This is the rougher side.
I printed out nearly b+w versions of my designs onto the paper using my computer.
The images are elongated to fit the 2x3 choice in my photo printing program thingy.
I wasn't sure if the printer ink was going to smear once the watercolor hit it. It didn't seem to make that much of a difference...yay!
I played around with a bunch of small brushes and I LOVE this brush -- it has a tiny end, makes totally straight lines and edges and also does wide strokes and washes.
Yay -- an "all-in-one" for the non-painter!
Experimenting with layering single colors and putting paint over the lines and with keeping it within the lines.
I really like to watercolor!
Just playing around...the colors blend so easily and make me feel like I can sort of paint (even though I KNOW it is all happening automatically...the paint and water are doing it themselves.)
Okay -- that was cool -- got stuff off my chest and into words onto the "page" for my own sake -- and made some choices and decisions for the ATCs for the trade next month. I really am well aware that I don't owe anyone any sort of explanation for anything that I do...but it is good for me to blog some of these insecurities and artist/non-trained artist issues that poke me every once in a while. I can go back and reread the posts and see how I was feeling at that particular moment. I don't always feel like this and it is good to see for myself that I am making progress. It is sort of therapeutic.